Have you ever noticed that, when you wake up in the morning, your bedroom windows are steamed up? There may even be a few small pools of water on your windowsill. This is called window condensation, and condensation problems are incredibly common in the home. It mostly happens overnight because our windows and doors are tightly locked up and warm, and moist air can’t escape to the outdoors. Instead, it heads towards a cool surface, where it releases vapour which forms condensation.
Windows, of course, will be some of the largest, coolest surfaces in your home at night, which is why condensation on double glazed windows is such a common complaint from homeowners. Of course, condensation eventually dries, so it may seem harmless, but it can actually have a very significant, very negative effect on the home. The presence of excess moisture in your home can lead to perfect conditions for mould to grow and reproduce, so it’s very important to stop condensation on windows.
Double-glazing condensation is a nuisance, but it’s really not too difficult to reduce the amount of condensation that forms in your home. When it comes to how to stop condensation, there are really two methods that work. Firstly, try to heat and ventilate your home so that there’s not too great a temperature difference between the warm, moist air, and the surfaces it attaches too. Secondly, try to reduce the amount of warm, moist air that’s produced in your home on a daily basis. Here’s how:
1) Heat & Ventilate
- In the winter especially, try to keep your home warm, and ensure rooms are heated evenly if possible. Set the heating timer to switch your heating on regularly.
- Leave any vents open, even in the winter. This will allow warm, moist air to travel outside, and reduce the amount of vapour released onto your windowpanes.
- Think carefully about your room design. If large items like wardrobes are tightly nestled against a wall, airflow is restricted causing a build up of vapour and condensation.
- If you’re performing any task that produces a large amount of warm, moist air (drying clothes or showering, for example), keep a window open to allow air to escape.
2) Reduce Warm, Moist Air
- Always remember to turn the extractor fan on in the bathroom or kitchen whenever you’re cooking or bathing. This improves airflow and ventilation in the home.
- When cooking, keep lids on your saucepans to help trap much of the steam inside the pan. Allowing steam to escape in a poorly ventilated kitchen can cause mould to form.
- If you can dry clothes outdoors, this is a much better option than drying clothes indoors. If you must dry on a clothes rail then ensure there’s good ventilation.
- When using a tumble dryer, ensure it is vented to the outside. Tumble dryer vent kits, which vent to a container inside your home, only increase the risk of condensation.
Unfortunately, we can’t always prevent condensation completely, or we can’t always stop it before it becomes problematic. Now that you know how to get rid of condensation, it’s time to learn how to tackle any mould that’s formed as a result of the condensation on your windows.
The good news is that getting rid of mould is much easier than you may think. A solution of 1 part bleach – like Domestos – to 10 parts water is great for mouldy walls. Simply use a sponge to apply the solution directly to any affected areas (there’s no need to rinse afterwards) – the antifungal properties of the bleach will quickly get to work. Always wear gloves when using bleach, and keep doors and windows open for ventilation to avoid inhaling fumes.